About Dr Dean Rickles

Quantum Gravity

Dean’s primary area of interest is the history and philosophy of modern physics, particularly quantum gravity and spacetime physics. However, he has a wide range of interests beyond this, including: philosophy of science, philosophy of health and medicine, philosophy of economics and finance, complex systems science, metaphysics, and musicology. Dean is currently writing a book on the development of quantum gravity for an ARC-funded discovery project on the history of quantum gravity. He is also working on a 'biography' of string theory (for Springer’s Frontiers Collection) as part of this project.


  • "The Development of Quantum Gravity" (2009-2013: $617,500)
  • "USYD Research Fellow Establishment Grant" (2009-2010: $20,000)
  • Selected publications

    Dean has published on the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of economics, complexity theory, and epidemiology.
    • The Structural Foundations of Quantum Gravity (Co-edited with Steven French and Juha Saatsi). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006.
    • Symmetry, Structure, and Spacetime. Philosophy and Foundations of Physics, Volume 3. North Holland: Elsevier, 2007.
    • The Ashgate Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Physics. Ashgate, 2008.
    • 'Who’s Afraid of Background Independence?' In D. Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime II. Elsevier, 2008: 133-152.
    • 'Causality in Complex Interventions'. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. 2009, 12(1): 77-90.
    • 'Econophysics and Financial Market Complexity'. In J. Collier and C. Hooker (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 10: Philosophy of Complex Systems. Elsevier (forthcoming).
    • 'Public Health'. In F. Gifford (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 16: Philosophy of Medicine. Elsevier (forthcoming).